What’s the difference between the confident entrepreneurs who lead growing businesses and owners who can’t get out of survival mode?  It all comes down to this:  All successful businesses have a clear marketing strategy that makes everything they do more effective. Unfortunately, many busy small business owners get so caught up in tactical daily marketing execution like building a website, sending email, tweeting, advertising, optimizing a landing page, blogging and so on, that they are not taking the time to work on the decisions that’ll improve the performance of their tactics. There are many things to consider when crafting a successful strategy, but there are five key decisions that over the years I have seen help hundreds of small business owners grow their sales and create sanity in their businesses. To make your tactics work better, to grow your business and bring sanity to your world, you have to decide on the single, simple answer to each of these questions and commit to not changing it for a year or two.
Focusing on a well-defined target may make you uncomfortable at first, but stay the course and follow through.
If you are spending time and money on marketing but your efforts are not driving enough sales, the problem is almost always that you haven’t narrowed your target market definition enough to be effective. Your unique benefit should highlight the one (or two) main things your product or service actually delivers (benefits) that your target customer really wants, not a long list of all the things your product does (features). At Infusionsoft, we know our customers don’t just want our software: They want to grow sales and save time. When someone is looking to buy a solution to a problem, they will quickly make sense of the alternatives to compare against – your competition.
Once you have defined your competition, make a list of all the things you do differently and better. Your company name is the leading category for target customers that provides unique benefit.
Our growth rate doubled when we focused and committed to this clear and simple marketing strategy. Try it for yourself: Fill in the blanks to create the marketing strategy statement for your own business.
Can you see why it makes no sense to Tweet, to send a broadcast email or build a new website if you are not clear about your marketing strategy that has laser-like focus? Here’s the real secret that successful companies practice with extreme discipline: Creating a clear marketing strategy is not what companies do after they get big, it’s what small companies do to grow and get bigger in the first place. Greg brings 25 years of software industry experience to Infusionsoft, where he oversees the company’s marketing strategy, communications and partner programs.
The real difficult thing, in my experience at least, is the human resources to run and maintain a marketing campaign. Amazing article to show what it needs to strategize marketing plan for efficient running of the business. That’s right, but I find that most entrepreneurs jump to the benefits before doing the work to focus on a clear target and a clear competitive alternative.
Yep, and your differentiation depends on who you are targeting, who you compare yourself too, what you are selling and what is the unique benefit. Bigger companies have more execution capability, marketing leadership, tools and resources than small companies, so it could be strategy or it could be execution.
Greg agree with all points except for point 1(Who is your narrowly defined target customer?), 4(Who is your real competition?) and that doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with those points.
Let me explain, in my personal experience when it comes to target customers, and you want to identify your target customers I believe you need to start with “Others Like You (your business)”.
I could have used “competitors” instead of others like you, but I didn’t on purpose, it is quite clear that “competitors” encompass not only businesses like yours but the “best of the industry” and that creates two big problems. First problem is of “Overnight”, when you focus on your competitors, your focus is mostly on best in your industry, the big brands, you want to be like them, you want to beat them and thus you try everything. I mean it all started in a dorm room for facebook, it took over a century for coca-cola to become coca-cola, Apple became Apple after decades of hard work, efforts …. So you need to focus on other business similar to your in almost all angles, you need to win small battles to win the war (beat the best of your industry through persistency and consistency). Ever look at successful businesses like Pinterest, Google or Apple and wonder how they did it? The only way to know if your small business is a success is by establishing goals and measuring your ROI. One of the most difficult parts of running a small business is putting together a marketing strategy. I’ve talked about creating a marketing plan in each of my online digital marketing training videos.
Invest in some market research to indentify everything about your ideal buyer including where they live and the products and services they need.
Keep following this process with even more accurate goals to reach the greatest possible success. Pens, notepads, coupons, coffee mugs and key chains can be purchased and stamped in bulk for this purpose.
Freelancers can benefit from offering free sessions, as can contractors and service providers. Picking the partner product is the hardest part, so make sure to look for something that has high sales. To best understand what small business marketing strategy is, it might help to first define what marketing is.
If not, all of your efforts will lack coordination, synergy, efficiency and (most importantly), return on your investment.But how do you develop the right small business strategy? A key component of any small business’ marketing strategy is to be effectively positioned within search engine results. As well as the many complex and detailed strategies search engine optimization can involve, there are a few simple and effective ways to boost your rankings and visibility, while simultaneously improving your social media, ratings, reviews and media. Your first step should always be to ensure the information on your website is properly optimized.
More than ever for small businesses, you want as much about your local area in your website copy as possible. Encourage your customers to go online and give you a review after you have provided them a service.

The main options are Google+ (this can also take you into Google My Business, which is hugely beneficial), Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. BUSINESS HOURSOur clients receive 12 Hour Support Monday to Friday, We are here to help solve problems large or small!
Get In TouchIf you are looking for SEO services for your company; or just want to say Hi, then use the information below to get in touch with us. I call this the foundation information – you have to have a good grasp of this for your business. Strategy: Create an online presence that projects my expertise and helps those searching find my web site. Create a free tool that your target would appreciate and give it away to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. Remember, each goal may have multiple strategies with several tactics that require different materials and tools.
I think that so many owners get overwhelmed by the prospect of business planning because it appears to be very complicated.
You’ve managed to break it down to the basics that most should be able to wrap their arms around. A Marketing plan is something that everyone belives than is a must, but a digital marketing plan is also important.
Free Marketing Plan TemplateJoin the thousands of people who have created a winning inbound marketing plan. And focus is almost always the difference between a business that grows profitably and one that never seems to gain any momentum. An accountant friend of mine changed his business from “doing taxes for anyone in Phoenix” to “a CPA who does taxes and investments only for physicians” – his best customers who have special needs.
The narrower you define your market so you can focus on those that you can best serve and those that can best service you, the more effective your entire business will be. This leaves people unsure of what you actually do, which weakens your marketing effectiveness. We don’t describe everything our software does or the hundreds of benefits, we keep our focus on those three key benefits in everything we do. However, most entrepreneurs haven’t specifically defined who their real competition is and don’t focus their messages to create clear differentiation for their buyers.
Doing these tactics without a road map – your marketing strategy – will not deliver the right customers and will give you fewer sales than if you had invested the time to implement a focused marketing strategy. He also launched a successful consulting company targeted at emerging software and technology service companies, which provides him a first-hand perspective on the unique needs of the small business market.
It’s hard to get someone to split their time between running the marketing side of things and their other commitments, and even harder to find the time to discuss and develop strategy with other employees.
Small business owners are so busy getting through the day or the week that most never get to the thinking needed to focus their sales and marketing efforts to be more effective.
Since it very important to know who is the targeted customer, basis on which steps needs to be taken to build a strong business plan for implementation purpose. I see this often where companies are concerned about turning away customers, rather than focusing on one of two target customers.
A good strategy creates simplicity and power, but it’s much harder to create and refine than it looks.
Generally any larger company whose brands you recognized and identify with have done this work with extreme discipline, by definition. Small businesses are much more tactical and time-limited than marketers in medium sized businesses. You fail to realize that these big brands have been going through years of hard work, testing and retesting, effective utilization of resources, taking baby steps, having persistent and consistent approaches and after decades of hard work they became what they now are “The big brands” and you want to achieve all of that “overnight”, which is not gonna happen, never! Brands like Nike, Coke and Betty Crocker have developed a strong loyal customer following, but it took a marketing strategy to get there.
In order to promote your small business and engage with customers, you need to develop a full content strategy. Her biggest passions are writing, social media, anything Jane Austen, the color turquoise, and chai lattes. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page.
The process takes a lot of time, money, and effort, so it’s essential to have a plan in place before you even begin. Your marketing strategy will be influenced by the values and goals outlined in your mission statement.
It allows the public to have a lasting impression in their mind and can be the boost a business needs in the early stages. Getting a small promotional item at the end of the grocery check out line can put a happy spin on a stressful day.
Marketing is all about making the brand visibility go up and this is an easy to achieve method that can be used once every six months for the best results.
What they look for is a service provider that will understand their basic issue and address it accordingly.
Fix a time of the day during which you offer one free consultation for fifteen to twenty minutes.
This will build up your reputation and the more positive, authentic reviews you have, the more Google will notice you.
Always thank them for the positive review and welcome them back, and address any negative reviews, find out what went wrong, fix it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Update statuses, engage directly with customers, introduce new products and specials, and post any relevant information.
For every goal, what strategy, tactics and supporting materials do I need to achieve that goal? Once you’ve laid out all of your goals, strategies, tactics and materials with their associated resources and budget, you can then decide what you can do accomplish each month based on your time and budget.

Download my complimentary marketing plan and budget spreadsheet template by signing up for my email list. However, in today’s world, your marketing plan must include the digital (or online or inbound) marketing component so if you do traditional marketing as well as online, it all works seamlessly together. Your marketing strategy guides your company culture, your products and services mix and your pricing.
You can continue to hope that “next time that email is going to work better,” or you can develop a clear focus and a realistic strategy.
This means you have to say “no” to other potential customers who might buy from you but who are clearly bad fits for your narrow focus. He made this change over a period of two years and tripled his business, narrowed his service offerings and strengthened his pitch. Here’s a simple rule: If someone can’t clearly remember your category description a month after you meet them, they were never clear about what you do in the first place. Pick the top one or two and put them on your homepage and include them in your elevator pitch. It is surely a trap, but being intentional and focused is best way to building a life and a business that thrive. It’s one of the hardest things for small business owners, especially if they are struggling. Here is my question to you – do you pick who your companies target customers already are or can you make a push to target customers you do not already have?
It takes time and a little change in mindset to get out of the urgent daily grind and develop a new discipline.
Eventhough you have a small business, someday it can evolve to a bigger one if you have this patience and techniques to manage your business. Small business owners are stretched thin, so it’s very hard to stop working frenetically IN THE BUSINESS and spend time ON THE BUSINESS to make decisions that make the execution work better.
You can use the same tactics Fortune 500 companies use to develop a marketing strategy, just on a smaller scale. Small businesses shouldn’t jump into the market without developing a marketing strategy.
Get rid of marketing strategy silos and make an effort to implement your strategy in all aspects of your business. A detailed marketing plan will help define what you want to accomplish with your business as well as put on the correct path to make it happen. Take into consideration your audience’s age, location, gender and other demographics. The simplest way to go ahead with promotional marketing is to remain in the public eye for the longest time.
By offering free consultations, a service provider is giving up a small amount of time per customer in order to gain their trust and acquire future business.
One way in which partnered promotional marketing can help is by tying up with other companies.
Apart from his daily work, Jasper serves as an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Work Innovation.
Encourage them to take advantage of your service or product, or email about a local event you’re supporting. You can find the signup form in the sidebar of Masterful Marketing or on my Facebook Business Page. This takes time to develop the discipline, but you can’t do effective marketing without it. Then narrow your category definition (or your target market focus) until you are the leader. However, I would like to mention one thing that online marketing is needed as well and the same thing goes there too. For example your friend – did he begin to announce that he was for physicians only before he only had physicians? I find that most up-and-running businesses have obvious subsets of their customer base that are clearly their best customers. You need to define your business by developing objectives, a mission statement and outlining your target customers and competition. We recommend developing several goals that directly pertain to your small business objectives (e.g. This will help you see your progress as you go and keep you from becoming overwhelmed by the big picture.
Offer a heavy discount on your own product or give it for free on the purchase of another one. He is also an accomplished qualitative researcher with several peer-reviewed academic publications to his name. Any mention you get from a worthy media source, will mean a lot to where you stand in the search results. Each competitor type would create different comparisons, so you need to narrow it down to one or two main competitor types.
There are many resources on this website to guide you, including articles you'll find helpful. It will also show you a few things you could stop doing in your business that would create more focus.

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